I want to write and tell stories.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Short of Mine

Hi All,

A few weeks ago over at Todd’s Tequila Barn, more commonly known as Moviequill we talked about short films. Specifically I mentioned I sometimes write them as a form of useful procrastination, ie I am writing something.


I thought I would post the last one I wrote. I was going to give it to Shane who directed my first short for On the Lot(if he wanted or could use it) but unfortunately he did not make the final cut. Let me say…..HE WAS ROBBED…..no bias here : ) Besides, I think this is more of a sketch rather than a proper short.

Anyway, the short below was just a fun thing I knocked up one afternoon, took a bit over an hour or two, can’t quite remember. Please forgive the character descriptions, like I said, I was just having fun. Yes, I may have been channeling Ellis from Die Hard when I was imagining this character.

I don’t get SNL over here, I think it might be on cable but I don’t have that at home, so if it is similar to any sketch that has been done, purely coincidental.

I saw Spidey 3 last weekend… mmmmmm not the worst movie by a long shot but not as good as I wanted it to be. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I watched Click with Adam Sandler. Not normally a fan of his, have liked a couple of his, but quite liked this one.

Travelling heaps for work, but took the night off to post this rather than belt out emails and whatnot.

Hope you have a giggle, just a bit of fun. By the way, I titled this one Keeping the Faith.

Hope you are all well.

Cheers
Dave.


FADE IN.

INT. ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The meeting is not going well.

ELLIS HARDING -- super-slick-manic-uber-marketing-spin-doctor-guru is planted in his chair, playing with his files on the polished timber of the desk.

HARDING
Those ideas were just to test the water...

Hovering near the fireplace, is hawk-like Catholic CARDINAL CRIOVAC who still manages to look resplendent in his purple cassock, spinning his rosary beads so fast he is in danger of taking off.

CARDINAL
Testing the water?

Across the table from Harding, seated in an oversized wingback chair is HEADPIECE MAN, whose hands and bejewelled-tiara religious headpiece are the only visible parts.

HARDING
Watch it there Cardinal.

Cardinal looks at the spinning rosary and gets it under control.

HARDING (CONT'D)
Too many Hail Mary’s to get through before dinner if you break it.

Harding’s body language doesn’t talk, it shouts.

CARDINAL
Do you think we could we continue?

HARDING
Right then. You guys have thrown me one hell of a challenge.

CARDINAL
One you can’t accomplish?

HARDING
Hell no! You boys are gonna love these next ideas for rebranding the Catholic Church.

CARDINAL
Modernizing...

HARDING
Riiiight...

Makes a note...

HARDING (CONT'D)
So anyway, it’s a hard sell. Your Front of House Managers are ripping your credibility to shreds, your sales are down, donations...down, attendance...down...everything... down.

CARDINAL
Your ability for stating the obvious is staggering in it’s simplicity.

HARDING
I have identified a biggie
(flipping through his reports)
...sex before marriage...any chance?
Both Cardinal and the Headpiece shake vigorously…no!

HARDING (CONT'D)
Pity...
(Thinking)
what about if we just move the goal posts to after the engagement...you’ve got the commitment thing happening but there’s still time to hoof it if she’s bad in ....
(Realizing his audience…finally)
...the pews....bad in the pews...you can call it off.

Still a no.

CARDINAL
Next.

HARDING
Best thing about being down this far? You got nowhere else to go but up! And baby, listen to me, I’ll get you flying in the clouds again!

CARDINAL
Your holiness...

HARDING
Sorry?

CARDINAL
Please address the Pope as your holiness.

HARDING
Sorry Mr Holiness.

CARDINAL
You did say you had a Catholic education?

HARDING
Yeah, but a few years of therapy managed to block most of it.

CARDINAL
Continue.

HARDING
The truth is the whole thing needs a complete ground up rebuild. Okay...okay...look first thing...image.

Points at the Cardinal.

HARDING (CONT'D)
Not even a cracked up street dealer would be caught dead in that.

CARDINAL
We don’t want drug dealers...

HARDING
(eagerly)
I can cross off that whole saviour program then?

CARDINAL
No!

HARDING
Lose the robes. You want modern. Nice suit, no tie, open neck, nice and welcoming. I’m sure we can get some sort of sponsorship thing going. Balance out expenses, etc. I can see it now, the Boss, dressed by Boss. We can probably get some sort of supply deal going with aftershave and perfume companies to supply the holy water. Baptized, christened and ambrosial!

Headpiece is indicating no interest.

HARDING (CONT'D)
You’re knocking back a gift horse there. Kids nowadays, into Buffy, Angel and stuff. Vampire hunting with Red Door or Chanel No. 5. Get some rebates happening and claw back some of those lost profits.

Still no interest.

HARDING (CONT'D)
Give me something Mr Holiness. I mean look...the whole Virgin Mary mess? Branson has the Virgin brand sewn up globally, be a bitch to try and get it off him...

Headpiece and hands indicate he is agitated.

HARDING (CONT'D)
I know, I know, but when your people were playing all cute in the crusades, they should have been patenting and trademarking all of this. I’m just playing catch up here.

CARDINAL
Yes, yes, we’ll take that on board, what about attendances, we are losing worshippers...

HARDING
Losing? The Cardinals baseball team loses, desertion is a better word here. Your market is oversaturated...Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Kabbalah, Judaism, Scientology...

CARDINAL
Scientology?

HARDING
You’re competing against an internationally renowned and revered sci-fi writer’s best work...with what? Old Testament, new testament, slapped together. . It’s got no traction in today’s marketplace. You need a hero...

CARDINAL
We have Jesus...

HARDING
He gets killed...

CARDINAL
He returns...

HARDING
It peters off into ramblings, almost like it was written by different people...

CARDINAL
It was...

HARDING
Proves my point...no focus.

CARDINAL
Move on!

HARDING
You were the ones that said everything was on the table. I’m just giving you the reality of the moment. Take for instance Mr Holiness here. Everyone knows you as the Pope, but then have to address you as Mr Holiness...it confuses the market.

CARDINAL
We don’t care about that, that’s how it has always been.

HARDING
World would be much less populated if doctors had kept that thought going.

CARDINAL
We are not doctors...

HARDING
(Trying to win them over)
Funky scrubs though...

Cardinal throws him a hurry up look...

HARDING (CONT'D)
(Consulting his files)
Okay, I’ll come back to that later. Looking at your numbers over the last 30 years since the decline started, there is a huge spike in numbers that looks promising...

CARDINAL
Continue...

HARDING
Your predecessor, back in the eighties...the numbers go crazy after he was shot.
(Looks at the Pope)
...any chance?

The hand gripping the side of the wingback waves with purpose. CRACK! A wisp of smoke is all that is left of Harding.

CARDINAL
(To the Pope)
Next?

FADE OUT.

THE END.

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2 Comments:

At 2:32 am, Anonymous Luke AND Owen Wilson said...

That had some good stuff, especially toward the end. However, I doubt a short about religion would get much traction in LA because it's seen as too touchy for US audiences, especially in comedy which people want kept light (think Brits for dark comedy).
Of course, there is room for light, general references to Judeo-Christtian beliefs, i.e. the On the Lot short about the retarded guy who is killed, goes to heaven and then is sent to hell for making fun of God/angel hugging someone in greeting.
By far the best skit among the finalists. Did you have any favs?

 
At 6:51 am, Blogger Grubber said...

Thanks for that. British comedy goes over well here in Oz and often we have the same sense of humour so both countries can swap some good shows.

The US is funny that way from what I can tell, don't hit the religions too hard on the main networks. What about on cable do they go harder? Over here there is no community backlash big enough to worry about as far as I have been able to tell.

Have not caught the show as yet, don't know if it is being shown over here but will get it via modern methods this weekend. Have to have a look as I have been reading what Bill Cunningham has been saying about it.

Love the screen name, especially the "and" part.

cheers
Dave

 

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